Tapioca starch is widely used in food and non-food applications. Sometimes

it is used in the native form. A much wider variety of characteristics are available from

modified tapioca starches, tailor-made for individual applications. Thai tapioca starch,

both native and modified, is preferred by many industries including:

 

Food products

Native tapioca starch is widely applied in food recipes such as bakery products. It

is also used to produce extruded snacks and tapioca pearls. Modified starch, or starch

derivatives, have been applied as thickening, binding, texturizing and stabilizing agents.

Uses as fillers, sweeteners, flavor carriers and fat replacement in many food products

include canned food, frozen food, dry mixes, baked goods, snacks, dressings, soups,

sauces, dairy products, meat and fish products and infant food.

 

Beverage

Modified tapioca starch is used as a colloid stabilizer in beverages that include

solid constituents. Tapioca starch-based sweeteners can be produced with considerably

higher yields than sugar and are used in beverages as a sugar replacement. In combination

with other sweetener components, it can usually contribute to satisfying the customer’s

requirement. High dextrose equivalent syrups of tapioca-based hydrolysate are also good

sources of easily fermentable sugars for brewery applications.

 

Confectionery

Native tapioca and diverse types of modified tapioca starch are used in

confectionery for different purposes such as gelling, thickening, texture stabilizing, foam

strengthening, crystallization inhibition, adhesion, film forming, and glazing. Low

viscosity tapioca starches are widely used in gelled confectioneries such as jellies and

gums. The most often used one is acid-thinned starch due to its high retro-gradation and

gel formation characteristics, which are enhanced by the presence of sugars. Powdered

starches are used as mould release agents when casting confectioneries. Starch-based

polyols make the manufacture of sugar-free chewing gum possible.

 

Chemicals

Tapioca starch-based syrups are obtained economically by acid and/or enzyme

processes and used as feedstock to make various chemicals, including monosodium

glutamate, amino acids, organic acids, alcohols, ketones, vitamins and antibiotics.

Production techniques include chemical reaction, fermentation and other biotechnological

processes.

 

Adhesives & Glue

Tapioca starch-based dextrins are excellent adhesives and used in many

applications including corrugated board, paper-bags, laminated board, gummed paper,

tapes, labels, stamps and envelopes.

 

Paper

Modified tapioca starches are applied in the paper industry to improve paper

quality, increase production rates, and improve pulp yield. Cationic starches are

employed to flocculate pulp, increasing de-watering rates on the wet end. Faster machine

speeds and better pulp yields result. The starch remains in the finished paper, acting as an

internal sizing agent to increase the paper strength. Low viscosity starches, such as

oxidized starches, are applied as surface sizing to improve the strength and control ink

absorption properties for printing and writing. Modified tapioca starches are also used as

a pigment binder for surface coating to obtain a smooth, white paper.

 

Textile

Tapioca starches are used in the textile industry as sizing agents to stiffen and

protect the thread for improved weaving efficiency. They are also used as finishing

agents to obtain smooth fabrics, and color thickeners to obtain sharp and durable printed

fabrics. For this purpose, thin-boiled starches are usually preferred.

 

Pharmacy and Cosmetics

Native and modified tapioca starches are used as binders, fillers and disintegrating

agents for tablet production. Specialty modified starches are used as a carrier for skin

moisturizers, which are frequently mineral oil based. Other modified starches are used as

emulsifiers, encapsulating agents (vitamins), sizing (mousse for hair), thickeners

(shampoo), etc.

 

Biodegradable materials

Native and modified tapioca starches can be blended with petroleum-based or

synthetic polymers to improve the biodegradability and minimize the production cost of

more environmentally friendly materials.